Content Marketing is huge; we’ve been writing some articles about it already on our blog before. However, very few content marketer hit a home run every time to produce a new set of content and release it upon the world.
Content marketing takes time, dedication, and a strategic plan to help you position yourself as a thought leader in your industry and as a helpful resource for information your targeted customer is looking for.
We’ve all encountered content which took us hours to create and ending up with little to no traction and little to no conversion. Although it might feel like a failure to you personally, these however are excellent learning experiences and help you to define your content marketing strategy better. Mistakes can provide lots of insights, and if you look at them correctly, it can help you avoid making these mistakes in the future.
Knowing what to look for, and how to fix the issues you find, is the first hurdle to take. To help you get started on the right track in this weeks follow-up post on content marketing, we’ve gathered 8 insights into content marketing mistakes we all are making and how to fix them.
So, stop your content creation efforts for a couple of minutes, finish reading this post first and make sure you’re efforts will be even more successful.
#Mistake 1: Thinking it’s all about SEO
Of course, SEO is important, but if you’re just optimising your content for a search engine, your content will be very boring. Years ago people could just write really boring copy, include enough keywords in there, and they would rank high on search. This practice has changed; nowadays you have to write for human beings. Humans like to read engaging content. They like content that captures their attention.
However, you should not completely forgot SEO in your writing. Try to find the 25-50 keywords you want to rank for and optimise your content around those phrases. Write content about those topics, optimise your it. Down the line you will thank us for it, but just don’t overdo it. Algorithms change, the way people interact with search engines change. The most important thing is to write articles you yourself and of course your audience would like to read.
How to fix it? Instead of targeting at Google, try targeting your content at your buyer personas, write something they want to read and share with their audience. Make it interesting and in the long run you will be awarded.
#Mistake 2: No content marketing strategy
If you don’t know what you want to achieve out of your content marketing, you could end up anywhere. You can’t get any clear results if you don’t have a strategy.
The Content Marketing Institute performs an annual study around content marketing. According to their 2015 results companies who write down their content marketing goals and their plans to achieve them are 5 times more likely to be successful. Starting out with a Content Marketing Strategy doesn’t have to be that difficult though, in fact 10 easy steps will get you there.
How to fix it? Set up a content marketing strategy for you and your team. Be sure to come back to it over time, a good content marketing strategy is a living document, be sure to adjust your strategy over time with the new learnings you have.
#Mistake 3: Wasting content opportunities by not converting
At the end of the line, content marketing is still marketing. There are a lot of companies out there, who only focus on the content and forget about the marketing. Content that doesn’t have anything that encourages visitors to interact. If there is no Call To Action (CTA) asking your visitors to get in touch with you for more information, or try to convince them to leave their contact details you’re wasting your time.
Even if your content is super awesome and some thinks that he or she should come back at a later point to see what else you’re writing, there is so much content out there that it is easy to forget. They might not come back for a second time. At a minimum open the door for communication with your readers by gathering their email address.
How to fix it? Make sure you have a clear CTA on your content to convert your visitors into potential leads. Don’t expect them to figure out how to get in touch with you, make your CTA stand out and reward them by subscribing.
#Mistake 4: Marketing to everyone and anyone
Who’s your content for? There are all sorts of different audiences. People who are new to your product or service, people who are ready to buy your product or service, people who purchased in the past and need help.
When you started your company, you probably had a clear audience in mind. When you start to produce more content, by looking at your social media channels and your Google Analytics you can get a better understanding of your ideal customers. Of your Buyer Personas.
Producing content for the wrong audience can lead to bad results for your content marketing. Remember:
If you don’t know who that audience exactly is you’re doing all the work for nothing.
How to fix it? Define your Buyer Personas, not only will this help you produce better targeted content, it will also help you come up with intriguing content they want to read, to learn about use, to use and to share.
#Mistake 5: Not knowing what’s working
One of the biggest mistakes is not measuring what’s working. 49% of B2B business owners are having troubles with measuring the effectiveness of their content. But how can you improve if you do not know what’s working and what’s not working?
How to fix it? Tracking how effective certain content or content types are doesn’t have to be that difficult. Your website’s analytics, like Google Analytics, or our Inbound Rocket plugin are already a simple way to track your content marketing and see what the types of content are to focus more on.
#Mistake 6: Not promoting your content
When you finished producing your content, what do you do next? Think your potential audience might discover it by themselves? And if do decide to promote your content, where are you promoting it? Are the places you choose to promote your content visited by your target audience?
A lot of people live by the mistake “build and they will come”, but producing content is only half the battle, the rest is gaining notice. After putting lots of valuable time and effort into creating content, we think it’s safe to assume to you want actual people to consume your content. The problem is that unless your publishing your content on a big platform with an even bigger audience, the chance of people seeing your content are not as big unless you promote it.
How to fix it? The promotion of your content will, of course, depend on the goals you’ve set for yourself. The easiest way to start however is to share your content to all of your social platforms. Next to that, figure out if your content is newsworthy. Is it important, or maybe funny in some way? Can you create media worthy content? Getting attention from news outlets for certain types of content is still a very powerful way to get it to the attention of your audience.
#Mistake 7: Not using the power of stories
Most marketers make the mistake of confusing content marketing with delivering sales pitches. They focus more on the sale than on the value they should bring to their audience. They forget that storytelling works.
In today’s world, a piece of content that is coming off as too corporate or to insincere will have your audience run away. Only sales is a no-go area, and it breaks down on the basics that you’re trying to solve the problems of your audience with content. It’s a must for any piece of content that you’re creating that it revolves around the concerns your audience faces on a day-to-day basis.
How to fit it? Make an effort to produce your content for real human beings. What type of language are your Buyer Personas using? Put yourself in their shoes and create content that they would love to read. Check the stories your customers share about your product, maybe you can create heroes from them by sharing their stories about your product.
#Mistake 8: Not diversifying your content
Creating inspirational posts on your company blog is a good start, but since people online like to have some diversity, it might not always be enough. Quality content can be delivered in many different forms. It can be video, images, infographics, white papers or basically any other form of content that you can think of and is in line with your target audience.
A big part of the online audience prefer visual content to large chunks of text. If you’re ignoring that part of your potential audience, you might run the risk of them not returning to your site, or not showing up in the first place.
How to fix it? Try to create a wide variety of content. This way you can keep your audience interested, and you can reach a broader audience. Make a list of content types you can create yourself, and ask the help of your colleagues or people outside of your organisation for ideas and assisting in creating the content
That’s it, the big list of content marketing mistakes we see happening over and over again. Which content marketing mistake are you making? And how are you trying to solve them?